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Manatees Starve To Death In Ailing Indian River Lagoon

Credit: David Hinkle USFWS

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Advocates are fearing another manatee die-off is underway in the ailing Indian River Lagoon, as more than 200 have been found lifeless since the start of December. 

The manatees appear to be starving.  

The dead manatees have been found emaciated, some with nothing in their stomachs. 

Pat Rose of the Save the Manatee Club blames harmful algae blooms that in the upper Indian River Lagoon have wiped out almost all of the seagrass, leaving manatees with nothing to eat.   

“Just recently manatees were released at Blue Spring State Park as an alternative because it really wasn’t safe to return them to the lagoon in the northern end.” 

The manatee was reclassified in 2017 as threatened rather than endangered. Between 7,000 and 10,000 of the animals are believed to be in Florida. 


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Amy Green

About Amy Green

Reporter and Producer

Amy Green covers the environment for WMFE News. She is an award-winning journalist whose extensive reporting on the Everglades is featured in the book MOVING WATER, published by Johns Hopkins University Press, and podcast DRAINED, available wherever you get your podcasts. Amy’s work has been heard on NPR and ... Read Full Bio »

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